The latest edition of The Florida Bar's gossip sheet
is out, in which the state's guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announced that the Florida Supreme Court has disciplined 15 attorneys – disbarring two, revoking the license of one, suspending seven attorneys and publicly reprimanding five.
Of the 15 lawyers, the following four were variously disciplined for, at a minimum, playing fast & loose with money entrusted to them by their clients and/or others (two getting the boot; one getting an indefinite suspension, and the fourth suspended for 90 days for apparently taking his eye off the ball in getting carelessly but unwittingly caught up in a bad situation):
- John Charles Archer, Englewood. The Supreme Court granted Archer’s request for a disciplinary revocation, effective 30 days from a Nov. 12, 2015, court order, with leave to seek readmission after five years. (Admitted to practice: 1991) Disciplinary revocation is equivalent to disbarment. Disciplinary charges pending against Archer included allegations of failing to properly supervise non-lawyer employees, sharing fees with a non-lawyer employee, false advertising, mishandling of client funds, failure to properly maintain trust account records, and accepting prohibited up-front legal fees for out-of-state clients seeking modification of their home loans. (Case No. SC15-1661)
William Thomas Edy, Cape Coral, permanently disbarred effective 30 days from a Dec. 10, 2015, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1977) In several instances, Edy was paid thousands of dollars to handle cases and he failed to provide services. Edy also misappropriated and commingled client funds, he failed to properly supervise non-lawyer employees, and he fraudulently used the credit card of a deceased person. Edy was subsequently arrested for Second Degree Grand Theft related to the misappropriated funds. (Case No. SC15-1196)
Charles Francis McKinnon, Homestead, suspended until further order, following a Dec. 3, 2015, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1996) According to a petition for emergency suspension order, McKinnon appeared to be causing great public harm by misappropriating and/or diverting funds entrusted to him, and by his failure to respond to official Bar inquiries and subpoenas. (Case No. SC15-2147)
Michael Lynn Moore, Orlando, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a Nov. 12, 2015, court order. (Admitted to practice: 1990) Moore was hired to receive and remit investment funds through his trust account. Ultimately, the investment scheme proved to be a scam. While Moore had no involvement in it and did not draft documents regarding the investment scheme, he was negligent in not closely scrutinizing the one-sided investment agreements and strategies. Moore's trust account was not fully compliant with the rules. While Moore was on vacation, an employee, who was also a client, withdrew her settlement funds while there were liens against those funds. The employee was prosecuted and ordered to pay restitution. No clients lost funds resulting from her actions. There was no misappropriation by Moore. (Case No. SC15-1888)